Julian Cope presents Head Heritage

Acid Mothers Temple
Absolutely Freak Out (Zap Your Mind)


Released 2001 on UK-Static Caravan
Reviewed by Annexus Quam, 14/05/2001ce


Have you ever wondered what chaotic humdrum batters a foetus’s ear as its brain becomes one? Chaos rules our lives from the very beginning. The cosmos began with chaos, continues with chaos and will end in chaos. Negating this element only causes misery. There can’t be a sound continuum that better represents the Beginning than the early droning perfection that opens, slightly differently each time, each of the so-far 7 Acid Mothers Temple releases. The Sound of the Cosmos is here accompanied by unlikely classical instrumentation used most un-classically, and all One Chord, like Ash Ra Tempel struggling to commit to vinyl their Time/Space=ESPace tune. Even the title tries to convey this feeling of overwhelming Awe – Supernal Infinite Space. This eventually transforms into the one track that would blow your mind at the end of any self-proclaimed psychedelic album. And this is STILL the beginning. By choosing to open the album with a full odinist Odyssey makes one wonder whether Father Moo and his cohorts are after all really into the occult, since each release is effectively followed by another one which re-affirms itself on top of the earlier one, like one intonation after another all forming a weird book of prayers. It makes one wonder whether Makoto Kawabata really cares at all about what people think about his records and music when his Trip is so intensely out there. You either take it or leave. Join the cult or close the door as you leave. But once inside, you realise he really achieves with music alone what you do when you deliberately intoxicate yourself. In this record, apart from the usual half-tongue-in-cheek / half-dead-serious piss-take on cosmic paraphernalia, i.e. sonic farting and elephant-proboscis birps, there is even an out-of-tune sax which sounds decidedly sinister in the midst of the sound continuum that lasts through the first 20 minutes. And the titles parade one after the other, as the record progresses and you lose touch with the sequence of songs - because there are none (which is just as well) – Virgin UFO, Pagan Nova, Magic Aum Rock… and, after the sound of weird childlike voices which wouldn’t be out of place inside the world of Eraserhead, bursting IN comes out of the blue ONE of the HUGE Acid Mother Temple epics interspersed within the Sound Continuum that forms the umbilical chord of each of their records. To be inside this record is like being inside your Mother’s Womb, I’m telling you. And I have come to love the racket as much as I love silence. But my favourite distinguishable effect in the AMT Universe is the GURGLES that bubble up at every occasion in the amazing continuous flow of universal wholeness. Such is the on-flow of sound and vision that oozes out of every pore of your speaker that you really lose track of which instruments are being used in such shamanic conspiration. But I am sure that this is the effect intended. Fully un-analysable, un-fathomable and un-scrupulous. After the second 20-minutes of glorious nirvana, the record goes mellow or, at least, more distinguishable. A repetitive incomprehensible voice in the background is accompanied by the usual electronic goo, and overlapping samples sequenced randomly in an almost-ambient miasma. Personally, and after all the most-annoying noise imaginable, this is a bit hard to swallow and I am tempted to press skip. This even sounds disciplined! But the electronic blabber that makes up The Incipient Light Of The Echoes fades after 10 minutes, leaving the voice nude…and…’bah, bah, bah’ from the Other Side of the Universe announces Magic Aum Rock, which is actually Faust on a good day. You can almost imagine them using one of those obnoxious machines to drill through a wall or something. Which device the Mothers are using here escapes my imagination but the drums go on and on until the track is edited, and then it gets back on its trotter. The echoes, the Faust-type voices and the ‘distantness’ of it all makes this a delight. A final cosmic joke comes in the form of a female voice vibrating like a vitreous body and ‘singing’ a beautiful acoustic melody, and following this, a male voice intoning something over another acoustic Amon Duul I-type chord. The end comes almost orthodox-ly in the form of a song in Japanese that could be a 7” single release if in the right/wrong hands, perhaps demonstrating that making pop music is the easiest thing in the world - even the Acid Mothers can make a mellow song and please your elder sister in the process!

Music must be sacred. It must take you Out There but also give you Inner Vision. All of this happens within here. It is hard to say whether this is superior or more ambitious than earlier Acid Mother records, perhaps both, or neither. But that can only be a good sign of non-occidental mental / rational prejudice. When you cannot define but experience the trip then you have grasped it; and Absolutely Freak Out is another incredible Journey through the Burning Brain that is the Universe.


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